This work focuses on the impact of education for women empowerment on economic development in Nigeria (1985 – 2010). To this effect, this study, seeks to find out what impact women education has on economic development and means by which women literacy could be enhanced. women in most parts of this country, no doubt have been seen and used for domestic activities like giving birth, cook for their families, nursing and rearing children “but suffered negligence impoverishment in the hands of ignorance” in Nigeria. This research therefore, concentrates on a mandatory way out for the female gender through the provision of education to girl – child and the theory to improve their empowerment level and the general productivity of the entire women and the economy at large. In the study, economic development was measured using GDP growth rate and regressed on women education measured using women literacy rate. Secondary data was used, collected from CBN statistical bulletin and Federal Ministry of Education statistical bulletin to estimate the relationship. The findings from the study showed that there is a positive relationship between women education and economic development. The researcher therefore, recommended that more incentives be given to women education by making available formal education to them under regulations and supervision. With this and positive responses from women, output and general productivity in the economy will be attainable.
In terms of education, according to this source, women account for two thirds of the world’s illiterate population and earn one third of the world’s income but own only one hundred of the world’s property even though they work hardest and put in longer hours. Before, the United Nations World Conference on Women in 1975 – 1985 as the decade for women most African governments were really oblivious of the regressive effect of the backwardness of women on the overall national development. Some, government as a matter of fact designed social and economic policies that tend to aggravate the situation. For example, the Nigerian income tax laws believed that, female civil servants had no personal responsibilities and also sounded as if she was totally dependent on her husband when in reality she could be the breadwinner. The law did not permit women to own property nor allowed her to obtain a passport without the consent of her husband and she could not bail an offender.
It is the female child that is asked to drop out so the male child completes his. It is the woman and her children that are sold in foreign countries to engage in salve labour. This institutional attitude towards women contributed very much to their illiteracy and backwardness. However, since after the declaration of the decade for women and the World Conference on Education For All (WCEFA) held in Jomtien, Thailand in 1990 and the Beijing Conference in 1995, a very radical approach to the role of women has occurred and it is believe that the gains of the women outcry though these conferences will be sustained and improved upon.
In free enterprising economy of Nigeria, women education is expected to bring about their economic advancement through their organized productive resources that will bring dividends for the up keeping of their family. Again under this new dispensation, our quest for virile democracy cannot be achieved under the shadow of mass illiteracy. These facts have compelled the nations to re – assess the traditional portraits of women and so rethink their status in the light of the emergent facts about women and nation building.
Women in Nigeria have had various challenges in order to obtain equal education. Education is a basic human right and has been recognized as such since the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. With the impact of education, our society can now appreciate the role of women in the progress of a nation. Some decades ago, it was a taboo sending a girl child to school. The importance of women has been neglected by many countries in the world especially in developing countries. Today, it is becoming clearer that the role of women is not only in child – bearing rather the Nigerian women are strong pillars of nation’s building. In fact women are home makers and the pivot of the family. They are equally the main custodians of social, cultural and fundamental values of any society.